Not many people are familiar with cryptocurrency, also known as digital currency or virtual currency, and that’s because it’s such a new phenomenon. But it’s rapidly gaining traction among both consumers and merchants, and the smart ones are figuring out how to get on board early and use it to their advantage in the very near future. Here’s everything you need to know about cryptocurrency so you can start using it yourself and make your life easier in the process.


Cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security and anti-counterfeiting measures. It is not issued by any central bank and its worth depends on supply and demand. There are over 800 types of cryptocurrencies, some are more popular than others but most use Bitcoin as a benchmark. Crypto can be used to buy goods from stores that accept it as well as investing in it (though you should be careful with investing).

How Does It Work

A cryptocurrency is a digital currency that uses cryptography to protect transactions and control the creation of new units. Cryptocurrencies work similarly to physical currencies but have key differences like anonymous ownership and decentralized control. No single institution holds total control over a cryptocurrency and everyone can take part in each transaction, which makes it difficult for government officials or other potential intruders to trace back owners.

Where Can You Use It

In a day and age where credit cards are not the only way to pay, it is possible to use cryptocurrency at a number of locations. Stores such as Target and Starbucks accept Bitcoin, as do ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft. As a result, more companies are looking for ways to integrate crypto into their business. One company has begun issuing a dividend in cryptocurrency to shareholders based on its profit every year.

How To Get Into Crypto

Buying your first Bitcoin or Ethereum may seem a little daunting. You’ll need two things to buy crypto: a digital wallet (think bank account) and an online exchange. You’ll need to create a digital wallet for your currency of choice. The easiest way is to use a free mobile app like Coinomi on your phone or Jaxx on your computer. In order to deposit money into your wallet, you will need to purchase a cryptocurrency from an online exchange like Coinbase, Poloniex, Kraken, Bitfinex, or Gemini. For many exchanges, you will be required to provide personal information such as your name and address in order to complete transactions- but this is generally not necessary with more decentralized exchanges.

Cryptocurrency growth? 

Cryptocurrencies have been on a tear, growing in value by more than 1,000% this year. Now people everywhere are trying to get in on the craze by investing in cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin, which was worth less than $14 billion just two years ago, is now worth $227 billion.

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